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In July 2018, Cannabis will be legalized across Canada. Cannabis refers to products made from the leafs and flowers of the cannabis plant. You may have also heard it called marijuana or pot.

Right now it is only legal to use cannabis if you have a medical prescription. The City of Edmonton is not currently accepting applications for cannabis retail stores. Selling cannabis for non-medical purposes is still illegal.

Want the facts at a glance? Take a look at the Cannabis Legalization Key Information and Timeline.

Project Stage

Project Stage: Information Gathering

The City of Edmonton is currently gathering information about cannabis legalization, including understanding how the provincial framework will be applied at the city level.

We have engaged with stakeholders and the public to get input on:

  • The location of cannabis retail stores
  • The application process for cannabis retail stores
  • Smoking  cannabis in public
  • What information the public needs to understand cannabis legalization better and any other concerns residents want to discuss

Public Engagement 

The legalization of cannabis will have many impacts. Cannabis will become a part of Edmonton’s economy, it will be regulated through federal and provincial laws and in some City bylaws, and you may see it being produced and sold in Edmonton.

The City of Edmonton is preparing for legalization by hearing from the public. The City conducted public engagement activities from November 13 to December 13, including:

  • An online survey on cannabis legalization
  • Participation in Engage Edmonton - a series of Citywide engagement events hosted in different areas of Edmonton
  • Workshops - hosted with key stakeholders to have more in-depth conversations about cannabis legalization

Read the What We Heard Report: Online Survey Summary

Read the What We Heard Report: Workshops and Open Houses

Project Background

In April 2017 the federal government introduced a bill to legalize recreational cannabis by July 2018. The federal bill creates a strict legal framework to control how cannabis is produced, distributed and sold. The federal bill also defines the legal age and possession amount for cannabis.

Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on the federal legalization and regulation of cannabis.

In October 2017 the provincial government released their draft Alberta Cannabis Framework, which builds on the federal bill. Visit the Government of Alberta website to read the draft Alberta Cannabis Framework.

Past Bylaw Amendments

The City of Edmonton has taken proactive measures to prepare for the legalization of cannabis. In June 2017 City Council approved amendments to the Zoning Bylaw that:

  • Created a definition and use class for Cannabis Retail Sales to separate cannabis stores from other retail stores
  • Clarified which existing definitions in the Zoning Bylaw do not include the production, sale or consumption of cannabis

Read more about the first stage of Zoning Bylaw Amendments.

Stay Informed

Want to receive project updates and hear about future engagement opportunities related to cannabis legalization?

Please email to be added to the stakeholder list.

For More Information




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